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Certain industrial process wastestreams, which are treated by an open activated sludge facility and which contain volatile (VOCs), could be potentially regulated by the Synthetic Organic Manufacturing Industry (SOCMI) wastewater NSPS, 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart YYY proposed regulations. These proposed regulations basically require a closed cover with offgas control for regulated biological processes, such as conventional activated sludge systems, unless the process can be demonstrated to be satisfactorily compliant. The EPA-directed procedures for demonstrating compliance are complicated and somewhat confusing. Basically, it is necessary to determine the percentage of specified VOCs that are biodegraded versus those that are physically stripped into the atmosphere. This paper deals with “open-top activated sludge systems” (comprising over 99 percent of all activated sludge systems worldwide) and assumes that the industry wastestreams contain applicable VOCs that must be demonstrated compliant. This paper does not detail the process of determining which VOCs are applicable. The specific industry or a knowledgeable consultant can make this determination using the EPA procedures. Direct quotes from the YYY proposed regulations have been denoted in quotation marks to ensure that there is no misunderstanding as to EPA's intentions.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-01-01

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